Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 72-Ketchikan to Prince Rupert

The windlass part arrived around 11:00 and I quickly swung by the store to pick them up.  I installed them quickly, tested the windlass out, and with it working better than it had before, set off for Foggy Bay.

The weather forecast called for strong outflow winds from Portland Inlet, and increasing southerly winds in Dixon entrance in the afternoon.  Tomorrow, however, is supposed to have variable 10-knot winds, perfect for a crossing of Dixon Entrance.

I spent the first couple hours cruising slowly.  5 knots, 2000 RPM.  Great fuel economy, and it would put me into Foggy Bay around dinnertime.  During this time I still had an internet connection and kept an eye on the hourly updates from the weather stations and buoys in the Dixon Entrance area.

The 2:00 pm update came through and showed continuing calming.  Winds were under 10 knots everywhere in the area, seas under half a meter.  The winds were calm where I was and I had enough daylight to get to Prince Rupert, so I decided to make a run for it.

I bumped the speed up to 13 knots and cruised along the glassy calm water.  A group of porpoises and a few humpbacks showed up as a farewell present from Alaska and the sun poked through the clouds.

As I proceeded into Dixon Entrance itself, a gentle swell built, rolling in off the vast Pacific Ocean.  Perhaps three feet at 10 seconds, it posed no trouble whatsoever and offered simply a gentle rising and falling motion.
Perfect conditions for crossing Dixon Entrance
Conditions stayed calm throughout Dixon Entrance and into Chatham Sound.  A few sport fishing boats were out, but other than that the waterways were blessedly clear of other traffic.  As I approached Venn Passage under the setting sun, a couple of humpbacks gently broke the surface in front of me, welcoming me to Canada.

I arrived at the customs dock at 8:45 pm, cleared into Canada uneventfully, and went looking for a place to tie up for the night.  After being put on a lousy dock at the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht club last time, and being charged nearly $40 for the privilege, I didn’t’ want to stay there.  I headed towards the public floats instead, but on the way passed a mostly empty dock with no signs saying private property.
Sunset from the customs dock
Who knew that Obama had an oil tanker named after him?
A couple of other pleasure boats and a several commercial fishing boats were already tied up.  I asked the people on the pleasure boats if I was allowed to tie up there.  They had no idea, and I figured if the owner didn’t want people tying up he’d put a sign saying so.  So I tied up for the night.

I talked with the other boaters for a bit, then wandered around trying to figure out if I was allowed to actually stay the night here.  Some of the fishermen said not to worry.  Apparently the local fish processor owns it, but there aren’t many boats that will be in today or tomorrow.  As a bonus, the dock has free showers, laundry, water, and electricity in some places.

82.7 nm today and 2,504.6 total

No comments :

Post a Comment